In this section
Episodic (recurrent ataxia)
Vascular – may require urgent lysis see Stroke
Immune (eg. ADEM)
Basilar artery migraine
*Most common causes
See Common Causes of Ataxia for further information.
Any child with a red flag feature should not be considered to have acute cerebellar ataxia until further investigated.
If there is a clear history of acute cerebellar ataxia with preceding viral prodrome, then no investigations may be necessary.
If ataxia does not resolve in the expected time course or another cause is suspected, consider:
MRI (or CT if unavailable) to identify space occupying lesions, trauma or haemorrhage
Blood gas (electrolytes, blood glucose)
Anticonvulsant level, ethanol/ethylene glycol
Full blood examination
Liver function test
Lumbar puncture after neuroimaging
Child presents with an ataxia of unclear aetiology.
For emergency advice and paediatric or neonatal ICU transfers, see Retrieval Services.
The cause of ataxia is clear and the child is well.
Last updated December 2019